by Robin Kemp

The Morrow City Council is moving ahead with plans to revitalize the Olde Towne Morrow site, including a proposal to cut down a swath of woods between the failed development and I-75 to make it more visible to passersby and add a parking lot.

The Aug, 25 work session agenda includes both proposals, as well as several floodplain maps for parcels immediately surrounding Southlake Mall. Two parcels are owned by the mall; one, by the Downtown Development District.

An estimate from AKA Tree Service quotes $1,500 to walk the site with someone from the city to mark specimen trees to save, then $14,000 to cut down the rest of the trees “to showcase Olde Towne Morrow” and “clear around street lights on I-75 so lights can be lowered.” The mulch would go to the city for future use.

According to minutes from the Aug. 11 meeting, City Attorney Warren Tillery explained what the city could do about the Morrow Center and “the undeveloped portion of the old Macy’s space known as the dark space,” as well as access points and “certain parking areas to Old Town Morrow.”

Tillery outlined a process that would include:

  • designing a concept to “define the area and identify property owners and any assigned rights within the area”
  • hire appraisers “to define the value of the property”
  • “move into negotiations, should the Council choose”

Each step would require council approval, Tillery said, adding that the state “grants certain rights for cities to make these plans to enhance projects for public use” and that “in certain situations, when new conditions are established, old agreements can sometimes be wiped clean and new agreements put in place.”

Maps in Tuesday night’s agenda packet include these parcels:

  • 12112A A0006 (VCG-Southlake Mall LLC)
  • 12112A A0008 (VCG-Southlake Mall LLC)
  • 12112A A055 (Morrow Downtown Development Authority)

Also in the packet is a proposed contract with Waste Pro for garbage pickup. Rates attached as an exhibit include $14.19 per month for weekly back-door pickup for the first 150-gallon container (an additional container costs another $9), plus extra bag pick-up twice a month for an additional $2.50 per bag. Commercial customers will pay a $100 to $500 deposit. Customers whose service is cut off will need to pay $50 to reinstate pickup:

Proposed rates for Waste Pro garbage pickup in Morrow.

The council also will discuss the Jonesboro Road easement for the pedestrian path to Westwood Avenue, estimated at $146,420, and expenses for the city’s COVID-19 response.

The regular meeting agenda includes second readings on the city’s proposed ethics policy and on a shared sick leave system for city employees, as well as a first reading on a proposal to start City Council work sessions at 6:30 p.m. but as early as 5:30 p.m. Also on the agenda are a memorandum of understanding with Boat People-SOS Atlanta for a free flu shot drive-through fair on Sept. 5, choosing the city’s insurance carrier, and acceptance of a FEMA grant to the Fire Department for $99,477.14 with $4,973.86 in “required non-federal resources.”

Tonight’s work session starts at 6:30 p.m. and may continue after the 7:30 p.m. council meeting.

Follow the City of Morrow’s YouTube channel for video of past work sessions at